George & Gloria Barrett
Ontario Youth Directors

Sparrow Lake was this year’s site of the Junior Team Ontario 2002 Provincial qualifying Tournament, part one of a three-part challenge.  Saturday September 22 dawned to an overcast, wet yet warm day, as 17 members of Ontario’s Junior Bassmasters Clubs made their way to the launch ramp, with their families to compete in this year’s qualifier. Much time had been spent pre-fishing and making preparations, reels had been re-spooled, equipment had been checked and rechecked, lures modified and tuned, and hours had been spent going over maps and marking special spots. They were ready and now it was time to get on with the job at hand.

  Some of the Juniors had arrived several days early and also the day before at Sparrow Lake Sports Lodge, who sponsored the accommodations for us, along with Canadian General Tower who had kicked in the cost of all the meals for the entire weekend. This was an especially fine treat for the Federation Youth Directors, as they usually had to become “chief cook and bottle washer”.

  The morning broke under rainy skies with the threat of more to come, the team members assembled in the lounge to register and receive their tag numbers, along with the boaters who had volunteered their own finances and time to take them out. As each boater was introduced they drew two anglers who where not from the same club, and whom they did not know personally. After the meeting and explaining of the new Protocol and Rules the young anglers with their boater boarded their boats where last minute instructions and safety information was given and the tournament was under way…. each group heading off to a special spot to begin the competition.

  Lunch time loomed quickly but with much anguish, only one bass of legal size had been caught by Joe Elliott, re-grouping and spot trading was the topic of conversation, while we where served fish and chips!! (Much better than hot dogs) and NO WASPS!! Eating in is definitely the way to go.

After lunch the contestants took off again this time more determined than ever to catch those elusive bass.

  The Federation Youth Tournament Director Mike Lau was unable to attend due to work load, and he was surely missed by all, with weigh-in time fast approaching Ontario’s Youth Director George Barrett had to set up the site. With the new electronic scales checked, weigh-in slips readied, live release baskets placed, and the camera loaded and aimed; the young anglers surprised us all, they where able to bring in for verification 7 Large mouth bass and 1 small mouth bass for a total weight of 12.52#. The following anglers who caught fish where:

  11-15 age group (Jr. Bassmasters)

Matthew Kirby                 2 Large Mouth 4.24# -  K-W Jr. Bassmasters                 100 points
Stephen Hudson             1 Large Mouth 1.90#  - Barrie Jr. Bassmasters                95 points
Steve Rowbotham          1 Large Mouth 1.46#  - Barrie Jr. Bassmasters                90 points
Justin Toth                      1 Large Mouth 1.00#  - K-W Jr. Bassmasters                   85 points
Joe Elliott                       1 Small Mouth   .94#  - Teeswater Jr. Bassmasters         80 points
Andrew Wood                1 Large Mouth   .90# -  K-W Jr. Bassmasters                   75 points

  16-18 age group (Jr. Pro Bassmasters)

Aaron Russell               1 Large Mouth 2.08# - K-W Jr. Pro Bassmasters                 100 points

  11-15 age group who did not catch fish

Kyle Heels                    – Barrie Jr. Bassmasters
Mathew Wells              – Barrie Jr. Bassmasters
Kyle Sims                     – Barrie Jr. Bassmasters
Craig MacFayden            – Barrie Jr. Bassmasters
Joey Snow                    – Barrie Jr. Bassmasters


16-18 age group who did not catch fish

Jenn Elliott                    – Teeswater Jr. Pro Bassmasters
Jonathan Reimer           – Barrie Jr. Pro Bassmasters
Jeremy Scott                 – Barrie Jr. Pro Bassmasters
Aaron Anders                – Barrie Jr. Pro Bassmasters
Josh Toonders               – Kitchener Waterloo Jr. Pro Bassmasters

  The Total Competition

All 17 of  these young people will now go on to complete the total competition, part two; with a personal resume/picture book and part three; a conservation project that they will accomplish in their Junior Clubs. Additional points will be awarded, with the four highest Jr. Bassmasters and two highest Jr. Pro Bassmasters becoming Jr. Team Ontario 2002. The person with the highest points overall regardless of age will be made Team Captain. The Team will be picked by March 31, 2002.

This is a really big challenge for the six young anglers, as a Team they will be competing on the Delaware River in the State of Delaware U.S.A. on July 13, 2002. It will be tidal water fishing, which for some of them is an entirely new experience. Much research of this type of fishing will have to be done in their clubs during the winter, unfortunately they will have no actual practice until they are in Delaware.

  We wish all of the young anglers good luck in their challenge for Junior Team Ontario 2002.

  And last but certainly not least we wish to thank the following Adults that made this all possible:

Richard Bullock – K-W Bassmasters – Youth Director
Richard Elliott   – K-W Bassmasters  – Youth Director of Teeswater Jr. Bassmasters
John Anders     – Barrie Bassmasters– Youth Director
Garry Norwood – Barrie Bassmasters
Gerry Heels      – Barrie Bassmasters
Don Rowbotham – Barrie Bassmasters
Steve Reimer   – Barrie Bassmasters

And two very wonderful strangers who are members of B.A.S.S. in the U.S. and where on holiday at the Sparrow Lake Sportsmens Lodge:

Paul Doesburg and Ed Kithcarts.

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